Supplies of AirPods to greatly improve in 2018


Apple has had many dramas keeping AirPods on shelves in 2017. Low supply and high demand made AirPods almost impossible to obtain. Now, after a massive investment in a supplier, supplies of AirPods are set to greatly improve in 2018.

AirPods headphones were as rare as hen's teeth in 2017.

They were announced early, arrived late, and when some stock arrived in selected stores and not others, there was a virtual riot at every Apple reseller. Even ordering them online was no help, with ship dates extending to 9 weeks.

When technology reviewers were supplied with a first batch of AirPods, in an effort to stoke the hype, they suffered poor reviews, failed to connect, some were slow to pair, and others were problem-prone in more than just one way.

Tim Cook must have lost his OCD-driven mind. Steve Jobs would have sacked everyone involved. Jony Ive was nowhere to be seen. Critics piled on the criticism, and the sarcasm.

Throwing money at the problem

Throw money at the problem: that usually works. PodGate resolved!

Apple made a major investment in Finisar, a supplier of components for the TrueDepth Camera system and components within the AirPods headphones. A massive US$390 million investment, designed to unclog a bottleneck in the supply of parts for both the iPhone X and AirPods.

With Apple applying pressure as a customer and an investor, the team at Finisar probably have more Apple staff calling, iMessaging, and sending angry emoji's than one can handle.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, known as the ultimate supply chain and logistics guru, must be absolutely losing his OCD-driven mind.

Other Pods

Apple was spectacularly late with the AirPods, but there were other pods in 2017 that were late as well.

The Apple HomePod, the smart speaker with Siri that everyone was waiting for, was announced, then was delayed, then was on track, then was delayed again, and then became a Holiday Pick, only to be delayed again until after January.

In the meantime, Google, Sonos, Harman Kardon, Amazon, and others debuted their own smart speakers in time for the holiday buying curve. Apple: 0, Everyone Else: 2.

Even Microsoft managed to get a Cortana-powered speaker out the door before Apple. (Nice).

What happened?

What happened?

My vote says: key Apple employees cashed in their stock, took a vacation, and bought a bucket load of Bitcoin.

The Good News

The good news is, you might, might, might, be able to buy yourself some AirPods. Soon.

Who knows, Microsoft might even get their Android phone out the door before the iPhone X Plus arrives.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas

XYZtech

XYZ Media Group

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